Men's preview: No. 27 Oklahoma State



Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw during Semifinals of Saturday's Match Play at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike McGraw during Semifinals of Saturday's Match Play at the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Men's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Joey GarberGeorgia  68.61 
2Robby SheltonAlabama  68.62 
3Patrick RodgersStanford  68.67 
4Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  68.81 
5Cameron WilsonStanford  69.05 

Men's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Alabama 68.92 
2Georgia 69.62 
3Georgia Tech 69.62 
4Oklahoma State 69.72  10 
5California 69.81  11 

27. Oklahoma State

2011-2012 Golfweek rank: 29

Go-to-guy: Talor Gooch

Season outlook: The Cowboys' 65-year streak of consecutive NCAA Championship appearances ended last season with an eighth-place NCAA regional finish. It was a major disappointment for one of the nation’s most storied programs, but don’t expect coach Mike McGraw and his players to dwell on it much.

“If it takes me giving a speech to motivate our guys, then that’s not right,” McGraw said. “It was the longest streak in any sport, I believe, and I’d think that would be enough to motivate them. You don’t want to dwell on it, but you hope it lights a fire within them.”

Oklahoma State returns every major piece from a season ago, including junior Talor Gooch, senior Sean Einhaus and sophomore Patrick Winther. Gooch won the Oklahoma Stroke Play over the summer and advanced to match play at this week's U.S. Amateur. He’s the unquestioned leader on the course for the Cowboys, and if he has a strong season, expect Oklahoma State to have one as well.

“Talor is very serious about getting better,” McGraw said. “He was extremely disappointed (about losing at the U.S. Amateur) because he knows he could have won. He’ll use that as motivation. He’s going to be a leader for us, and I think he’ll relish that opportunity.”

Junior Kevin Dougherty, who won the Southwestern Amateur, also returns, and two freshmen, Jordan Niebrugge and Wyndham Clark, have the ability to contribute right away. Niebrugge is ranked No. 40 in Golfweek’s junior rankings.

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